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How Buddhism Began

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This book takes a fresh look at the earliest Buddhism texts and offers various suggestions how the teachings in them had developed. Two themes predominate. Firstly, it argues that we cannot understand the Buddha unless we understand that he was debating with other religious teachers, notably brahmins. For example, he denied the existence of a 'soul'; but what exactly was he denying? Another chapter suggests that the canonical story of the Buddha's encounter with a brigand who wore a garland of his victims' fingers probably ...

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